This Week In Free Speech Hypocrites: 'Free Speech' Supporter Sheila Gunn Reid Gleefully Sues Someone For Calling Her A Neo-Nazi

from the well,-now-that-you-mention-it... dept

What is it with people who pretend to be free speech "warriors" only to rush to sue someone for stating an opinion about them? And why are so many of them Canadian?!? We've already covered folks like Jordan Peterson suing a university because some professors said mean things about him in a private meeting, and Gavin McInnes suing SPLC for calling the group he founded a "hate group." And now we have Sheila Gunn Reid, who works for The Rebel Media, which is sort of the Canadian equivalent of Breitbart. Sheila pretends to be a free speech supporter in dozens upon dozens of tweets. Here are just a few:












Given all of the above, it seems pretty clear that Sheila Gunn Reid would be one heck of a hypocrite to then sue someone for stating an opinion, such as calling her a "neo-Nazi." Hell, she even stated publicly in the past (see the last tweet above) that she believes it's free speech for someone to call her a Nazi. She's right. Or, well, she was back then.

A scientist named Dave Barrett referred to Sheila as a "neo-Nazi" and rather than "believing in free speech" even for people who call her a Nazi or who disagree with her, she apparently sued him, and he settled by agreeing to pay $1,200, along with his own legal fees, and posted an apology to her, which he's pinned to the top of his feed for 30 days, which was part of the settlement agreement. And she's now gloating about it in a pinned tweet of her own:

Now, yes, it's true that this happened in Canada, and that Canada's constitutional free speech protection is not nearly as strong as the First Amendment. And, as we all know, defamation lawsuits can be quite expensive, leading to astounding pressure to settle such a case. That said, it does seem quite fair to point out that Sheila Gunn Reid is not a free speech supporter but a huge free speech hypocrite. As some of her earlier tweets suggested, you don't get to call yourself a free speech supporter and then use the power of the courts to attack someone over their speech, silence them, and force them to make compelled speech about you. That's not how it works. And, it certainly seems like "situational ethics" for Sheila to do so while still pretending to care one iota about free speech.

And, I'm sure that some folks will come along and make an argument that "defamation is not free speech" or (worse) that suing over defamation has nothing to do with free speech (or, even worse, saying that a civil lawsuit isn't about an attack on free speech because it's not the government). All of those statements would be wrong. First off, giving your opinion of someone, even if it's critical, like saying you believe them to be a neo-Nazi is not defamation. It's an opinion. Opinions are not defamatory. Suing over someone's speech always has to do with free speech. And even though it's a civil suit between two parties, it's using the power of the state in the form of the courts and the judicial system, to punish someone for their speech, which makes it inherently using government power to attack them on the basis of their speech.

In a video, Rebel Media founder Ezra Levant flat out admits that this is part of his and Sheila's plan to silence critics:

"It's about the specific deterrent. I don't think Dave Barrett is going to take a run at Sheila any time soon. And it's about the general deterrent. And what I mean by that is I hope other people see that and say "oh, okay, um, maybe I won't call Sheila a Nazi, maybe I won't call anyone at Rebel a Nazi.... Maybe I won't call any conservative a Nazi."

Okay. We won't call you a Nazi, Ezra. We'll call you a censorial bully who admits to abusing the law to stifle criticism, despite pretending to support free speech. Saying you hope others won't state their opinion because you abused the court system over someone else's speech shows that. Hilariously, just a few days before this video, Ezra was on a podcast where he said the following:

“I’m unaware of conservatives suing liberals in nuisance suits to shut them them up for political purposes... it’s only the other way.”

He said this at the very moment that he (a self-proclaimed conservative) was suing a liberal in a nuisance suit to shut them up, as he directly admits in that video.

Incredibly, Ezra goes on and on in the video about how this is about "fighting back" and "standing up for principles" and then promises to sue anyone who ever calls anyone at the Rebel a "Nazi." Hilariously, Ezra goes on to say that you're still allowed to criticize him, but only if he thinks it's "legitimate criticism." That's not how free speech works. He goes on to also say that The Rebel is suing a bunch of protestors who convinced theaters not to host Rebel Media events -- which is again an attack on free speech.

You might not be Nazis, Ezra and Sheila, but you're huge, censorial hypocrites and now everyone knows that.

Filed Under: canada, dave barrett, defamation, ezra levant, free speech, hypocrites, sheila gunn reid
Companies: the rebel media


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Nov 2019 @ 10:48am

    Should have called her a hypocrite.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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    icon
    Zof (profile), 25 Nov 2019 @ 10:55am

    Her speech was clearly free.

    The consequences, not so much. Freedom of speech isn't freedom from consequences. Sometimes if you call people names, they sue you.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Nov 2019 @ 11:01am

      Re: Her speech was clearly free.

      Interesting theory. Then for the US, I propose a new civil law that allows people to sue others for owning guns. Like, if you are unhappy that someone owns a gun, you can sue them for up to a million dollars. Thankfully this would not infringe on the 2nd Amendment, since they are still free to own guns, just not free from the consequences.

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      • icon
        Norahc (profile), 25 Nov 2019 @ 11:35am

        Re: Re: Her speech was clearly free.

        Does that include voting for the wrong candidate? Say a million dollar lawsuit for everyone who voted for anyone who actually got elected?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Nov 2019 @ 11:04am

      Re: Her speech was clearly free.

      Yes, this is true and one of the reasons we need anti-slapp laws

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Adam, 25 Nov 2019 @ 11:05am

      Re: Her speech was clearly free.

      Free speech is supposed to be free of legal consequences, that's the free part. The only other way to limit free speech is to physically stop someone from speaking, like duct taping their mouth. I don't think that duct tape was what the first amendment was written for.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 25 Nov 2019 @ 12:42pm

        Re: Re: Her speech was clearly free.

        This was in Canada. Everyone involved is Canadian. The First Amendment of the US doesn't apply to Canada. FYI, in case you missed it in the article.

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        • identicon
          Adam, 25 Nov 2019 @ 12:59pm

          Re: Re: Re: Her speech was clearly free.

          FYI, both Techdirt and myself are in America, so I was speaking to what I know. Was Section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms written with duct tape in mind?

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 26 Nov 2019 @ 7:25am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Her speech was clearly free.

            Was it written with your specific metaphor in mind? Not likely, since duct tape didn't exist at the time.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 26 Nov 2019 @ 7:39am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Her speech was clearly free.

              Not likely, since duct tape didn't exist at the time.

              I think that was part of the joke regarding the First Amendment. However, you're quite wrong with respect to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: it was passed in 1982 with the rest of the Canadian Constitution, whereas duct tape (in its current form) dates back to WWII.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 26 Nov 2019 @ 6:03am

        Re: Re: Her speech was clearly free.

        "Free speech is supposed to be free of legal consequences, that's the free part."

        That statement does not sound entirely correct.
        Free speech is a common term used in the lexicon rather indiscriminately.
        In legal terms, the first amendment states that government shall pass no laws impeding ...
        afaik, (ianal) there is no such thing that states one is free of consequences legal or not.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Adam, 26 Nov 2019 @ 8:35am

          Re: Re: Re: Her speech was clearly free.

          If there are no laws impeding free speech, how can there be legal consequences for speaking freely?

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 26 Nov 2019 @ 11:21am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Her speech was clearly free.

            idk, what you are saying.
            The 1st amendment is clear. The part to which I refer "Congress shall make no law" is rather specific. The term free speech however, is rather nebulous and can mean anything you want it to.

            Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 25 Nov 2019 @ 11:21am

      Sometimes if you call people names, they sue you.

      Most of the time, the lawsuit is a bullshit SLAPP action designed to chill someone’s speech. How is this time not one of those times?

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      • icon
        Norahc (profile), 25 Nov 2019 @ 11:51am

        Re:

        Why is it that SLAPP suits make me want to SLAP the shit out of those who file them?

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 25 Nov 2019 @ 11:53am

          Because they’re often filed by people who proclaim to be “defenders of free speech” but will drop a SLAPP action in a heartbeat if they think they have even the slightest chance of getting it to a point where they can make someone settle the case for money/an apology (i.e., compelled speech).

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    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 25 Nov 2019 @ 11:31am

      Re: Her speech was clearly free.

      The consequences, not so much. Freedom of speech isn't freedom from consequences. Sometimes if you call people names, they sue you.

      If the consequences involve state action, then it's not free speech. The whole point of free speech is that the government can't stop you.

      The line "free speech has consequences" means that other people may feel or act differently towards you because of it. That's legit. Having them use the power of the state against you is blatantly not free speech.

      But why does it not surprise me that you, who have pretended on our site for years to be a free speech absolutist is now showing your true colors, that you are also a hypocritical, censorial asshole.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      DeComposer (profile), 25 Nov 2019 @ 12:20pm

      Re: Her speech was clearly free.

      Is Zof a neo-nazi? Or just bad at logic?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Nov 2019 @ 1:21pm

      Re: Her speech was clearly free.

      I thought it smelled like someone zoffed themselves.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      techflaws (profile), 25 Nov 2019 @ 9:53pm

      Re: Her speech was clearly free.

      You're no the sharpest tool in the shed, are you?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Nov 2019 @ 11:06am

    Why are so many of them Canadian?!?

    Canadians find rudeness shocking.

    Even the rude ones. It gives the rude ones a kind of power that they delight in using, but they're never prepared for that power to be turned against them. Even, and perhaps especially, not when they most deserve it.

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  • icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 25 Nov 2019 @ 11:29am

    Ezra goes on to say that you're still allowed to criticize him, but only if he thinks it's "legitimate criticism." That's now how free speech works.

    Even if that were how free speech works, we could still lob “legitimate criticism” at him for being a hypocrite who wants “free speech for me, but not for thee”. I’m thinkin’ maybe he didn’t think of that specific outcome when he said those two words.

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  • icon
    Koby (profile), 25 Nov 2019 @ 11:30am

    Godwin's Law

    It looks like this is a Godwin's Law case, stepping out of the internet and into a real life court room. If it's any consolation, this Dave Barrett fellow rightfully lost.

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    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 25 Nov 2019 @ 11:32am

      Re: Godwin's Law

      this Dave Barrett fellow rightfully lost.

      Say what?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 25 Nov 2019 @ 11:35am

      Godwin’s Law isn’t an actual goddamned legal principle. He shouldn’t have needed to lose a legal case involving opinionated speech (which is exactly what happened) because he caused someone a Nazi.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 25 Nov 2019 @ 3:33pm

        Re:

        Actually, he didn't lose a legal case... he decided it was less painful to settle than to see the case through to its conclusion and win.

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 25 Nov 2019 @ 4:26pm

          he decided it was less painful to settle than to see the case through to its conclusion and win

          Right, he lost the lawsuit by settling before the hypocrite Nazis could force him to spend money on lawyers to defend him against a meritless bullshit lawsuit.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Nov 2019 @ 11:56am

      Re: Godwin's Law

      If it's any consolation, this Dave Barrett fellow rightfully lost.

      Counter-point: "By all means, compare these shitheads to Nazis. Again and again. I'm with you." - Mike Godwin.

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    • icon
      JMT (profile), 25 Nov 2019 @ 3:21pm

      Re: Godwin's Law

      "...this Dave Barrett fellow rightfully lost."

      First, he didn't lose, he settled, which is often the way that costs you the least amount of money no matter how strong your position is.

      And second, care to explain how this is "rightful"? Do you really think successful legal bullying by a censorious hypocrite is a good outcome?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 26 Nov 2019 @ 7:35am

        Re: Re: Godwin's Law

        First, regardless of where your sympathies lie, Dave Bartlett clearly lost. Accepting all of the plaintiff's settlement conditions to avoid a legal battle may often be the smart move, but it's still losing. At best you can say he's minimized the damage they could have done to him.

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 26 Nov 2019 @ 11:28am

          regardless of where your sympathies lie, Dave Bartlett clearly lost

          I don’t know which is worse: That you’re saying Dave Bartlett lost so you can win a pissant Internet argument, or that you’re low-key trying to justify the SLAPP action against him by saying he lost (which implies that he deserved to lose).

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 26 Nov 2019 @ 12:23pm

            Re:

            Nobody is trying to justify the lawsuit. Stop projecting your weird cynicism onto other people all of the time, it's disgusting.
            Trying to downplay the impact to the victim by claiming he won some kind of moral victory for your side is at least dishonest.

            David Bartlett lost. That's what happened. Check the facts.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 26 Nov 2019 @ 1:20pm

              David Bartlett lost. That's what happened.

              He didn’t “lose”, so much as he was forced to settle a bullshit lawsuit or risk financial ruin. That isn’t “losing”. It’s surrendering to a bully so he wouldn’t be bankrupted. And if you refuse to call it what it is again (a man surrendering to legal bullying out of self-preservation), I’ll have to assume you believe he deserved what happened to him — and that you would be willing to similarly justify another situation like this one in the future.

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            • icon
              bhull242 (profile), 26 Nov 2019 @ 1:33pm

              Re: Re:

              You:

              Nobody is trying to justify the lawsuit.

              Koby, earlier:

              this Dave Barrett fellow rightfully lost.

              I don’t believe you were trying to justify the lawsuit. However, somebody was in this very thread.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 26 Nov 2019 @ 12:25am

      Re: Godwin's Law

      "It looks like this is a Godwin's Law case"

      Erm, I'd have a look at what that actually says, because it's apparently not what you think it does.

      " If it's any consolation, this Dave Barrett fellow rightfully lost."

      Because he stated his opinion? I mean, he didn't lose, he settled, but what about him stating his opinion to a supposed supporter of free speech was wrong to you?

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  • icon
    Wyrm (profile), 25 Nov 2019 @ 11:31am

    Funny how the loudest "Free Speech advocates" out there are some of the quickest to file suit when criticized.

    Most of this special kind of hypocrite seems to be the type to advocate for "free speech" as in "you owe me a platform to spew my hatred", which is, funny enough, not a free speech issue.

    In this case, it looks more like a case of "you can't sue me for what I say, but I can sue you for what you say... because reasons." Still a big hypocrisy, but nothing really new.

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  • icon
    Norahc (profile), 25 Nov 2019 @ 11:33am

    Funny how the loudest "Free Speech advocates" out there are some of the quickest to file suit when criticized.

    Hereafter, this should be referred to as the Nunes Effect.

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    • icon
      aerinai (profile), 25 Nov 2019 @ 11:37am

      Re:

      Someone should start @rebelcow on twitter and just go ham. I can't wait to see more lawsuits about fictional bovine

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    • icon
      Koby (profile), 25 Nov 2019 @ 11:46am

      Re:

      So there was an old internet forum rule called Godwin's Law. Some threads got to be very long, and would devolve into petty arguments. It was also noticed that as a thread became longer and longer, the chances of someone reducing their argument to "Nazis" or "Hitler" approached 100%. The law states that when this occurs, the forum thread has become too long, the moderators are obligated to close down the thread, and the first person to mention Nazis/Hitler is declared the forum thread loser.

      In the Barrett case, he mentioned Nazis, was shut down, and declared the loser. It's as if an internet forum came to life!

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      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 25 Nov 2019 @ 11:48am

        It's as if an internet forum came to life!

        Except in this case, the guy who invoked Nazis was forced to pay money for his "transgression" by a court of law. Whatever you think of Godwin's Law as an Internet "rule", it has no business being an actual goddamn principle of actual goddamn law.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 25 Nov 2019 @ 12:05pm

          Re:

          Except in this case, the guy who invoked Nazis was forced to pay money for his "transgression" by a court of law.

          This was a settlement, not a judgement.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 25 Nov 2019 @ 12:10pm

            Re: Re:

            One still the result of state involvement because of the lawsuit that was filed.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 25 Nov 2019 @ 12:57pm

              Re: Re: Re:

              The state involvement was passing laws with insufficient speech protections. That's on the lawmakers, not the courts. The courts didn't do anything here.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Stephen T. Stone (profile), 25 Nov 2019 @ 1:15pm

                The courts didn't do anything here.

                Doesn’t matter. The threat of going to court over speech was enough.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 25 Nov 2019 @ 7:59pm

                  Re:

                  Doesn’t matter.

                  Just because you say so? Please, justify that. Courts generally have little choice but to enforce laws. Is there evidence that Canadian courts are disregarding the intent of the relevant laws, or that they should be striking this down as unconstitutional but aren't? Why do the courts deserve blame?

                  I could see blaming the politicians of the past for not writing a better constitution, or for passing terrible defamation laws; and the politicians of the present for not improving the situation e.g. with anti-SLAPP laws. What do you want the courts to do that's within their power to do?

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                  • icon
                    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 25 Nov 2019 @ 8:14pm

                    The “free speech” hypocrite gets the blame. They sued someone who used their speech to call them a Nazi. That means the asshole used the power of the courts to silence someone by forcing a settlement out of them. The courts don’t get the blame, but the legal system (represented by the courts) didn’t dispense justice in this case. You do yourself no favors if you pretend otherwise.

                    As for what courts can do: They can throw out obvious SLAPP actions, end of story. Whether they can apply sanctions for people filing that bullshit is a different matter. Personally, I’d like to see that happen far more often than it does.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 26 Nov 2019 @ 6:47am

                      Re:

                      The “free speech” hypocrite gets the blame.

                      Yes.

                      the legal system (represented by the courts) didn’t dispense justice in this case. … As for what courts can do: They can throw out obvious SLAPP actions, end of story.

                      Can they? After the parties have proposed a settlement? Without any anti-SLAPP law on the books?

                      I guess in theory a court has the power to reject a settlement, but that could screw the defendent over if the judge isn't sure it will be an easy victory. If they've agreed to pay the plaintiff and the court accepted the settlement, on what grounds could sanctions be pursued?

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                      • identicon
                        TFG, 26 Nov 2019 @ 7:08am

                        Re: Re:

                        I'm pretty sure Stephen's suggestions are intended for the general case, rather than this specific case, and are also intended for the courts to have taken those actions prior to the case being settled, effectively preventing the need to settle.

                        Without an anti-SLAPP law on the books, the ability for judges to do so may be limited, but it would be nice if they were harsher on these types of actions in general.

                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 26 Nov 2019 @ 7:42am

                          Re: Re: Re:

                          Canada does have some anti-SLAPP legislation, but, like the US, it's currently only on a provincial level, not federal. Had the lawsuit been brought in Ontario or Québec, this might have gone differently, but as both plaintiff and defendant are in Alberta...

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                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 26 Nov 2019 @ 8:33am

                          Re: Re: Re:

                          intended for the courts to have taken those actions prior to the case being settled, effectively preventing the need to settle.

                          It would be nice... but if a defendent gets a time-limited offer after the case has been filed and before a judge has seen it, they're in a tough position. They could reject the offer, even try to countersue for barratry, but that could leave them in a much worse position depending on the judge they get.

                          One fix would be to pass a law saying that any eventual judgement would be limited to the amount of the initial settlement offer, plus legal fees accrued since then.

                          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                          • icon
                            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 26 Nov 2019 @ 9:24am

                            if a defendent gets a time-limited offer after the case has been filed and before a judge has seen it, they're in a tough position. They could reject the offer, even try to countersue for barratry, but that could leave them in a much worse position depending on the judge they get

                            And that, dear anonymous coward, is exactly what the defendant in this case settled an obvious bullshit lawsuit: Fighting it would possibly have cost them more than the settlement being offered to make the whole thing go away.

                            Which, if you’re not familiar with how copyright trolls work, is exactly what the free speech hypocrite who filed the lawsuit wanted. Or do you think they expected to win the case if they actually got it in front of a judge?

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                            • identicon
                              Anonymous Coward, 26 Nov 2019 @ 11:20am

                              Re:

                              Or do you think they expected to win the case if they actually got it in front of a judge?

                              Maybe, maybe not. Even if they expected to "win" with 90% confidence, if there's a 10% chance of liability greater than $12,000, a $1200 settlement would make financial sense. That ignores the impact of legal costs and lost time--and those apply even if they "win".

                              So, that's why I'm saying settlement offers ought to set a cap on damages, or be irrevocable. If a plaintiff already said $1200 was acceptable compensation, a judgement far above that amount wouldn't make sense. Judges might have leeway to do this but AFAIK it's not a rule. A 10% chance of paying, say, $1500, is better than a 100% chance of paying $1200. Another option might be for the court to put the case on hold until actual damages, of the amount requested, can be demonstrated.

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                              • identicon
                                Anonymous Coward, 26 Nov 2019 @ 11:22am

                                Re: Re:

                                Or another angle would be to say that any offer along the lines of "settle for $1000 or I'll sue you for a million" is extortion and shall trigger criminal prosecution.

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                                • icon
                                  That One Guy (profile), 26 Nov 2019 @ 4:56pm

                                  Re: Re: Re:

                                  Hmm, might have issues I'm not seeing offhand but as that would serve double-duty to decimate copyright/patent extortion I might be able to get behind that.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 26 Nov 2019 @ 7:59am

                    Re: Re:

                    I wouldn't blame the Constitution. Unlike the US version, where the SCOTUS has to tie itself into knots trying to read implied exceptions into the plainly-stated words "Congress shall make no law," the Canadian version actually sets out a standard for when the rights it guarantees can be infringed upon:

                    The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.

                    ...Which, I'll admit, might allow a lot more leeway than Americans would feel comfortable with, but, again, at least allows courts to actually follow the Constitution as written when formulating their rulings, rather than falling back on, "Well, obviously when they said 'Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech' they didn't mean that kind of speech."

                    As for the terrible defamation laws... that's a fair cop, guv.

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        • icon
          Koby (profile), 25 Nov 2019 @ 12:07pm

          Re:

          it has no business being an actual goddamn principle of actual goddamn law.

          Well, of course everyone knows that it's not actual law. You can't use an undeclared forum rule violation as a tort. But it sure is poetic justice!

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          • icon
            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 25 Nov 2019 @ 12:42pm

            it sure is poetic justice

            No, it isn’t — especially if that “justice” involves suing someone for the sake of chilling their speech. Don’t defend this shit; it won’t make you look good in the end.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 25 Nov 2019 @ 11:57am

        Re: Re:

        he law states that when this occurs, the forum thread has become too long, the moderators are obligated to close down the thread, and the first person to mention Nazis/Hitler is declared the forum thread loser.

        Counter-point: "By all means, compare these shitheads to Nazis. Again and again. I'm with you." - Mike Godwin.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          TFG, 25 Nov 2019 @ 12:04pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Additional counterpoint:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_law

          Godwin's Law was an observation of a trend, not a recommendation of what to do about it.

          Mike Godwin himself has also criticized the overapplication of Godwin's law, claiming it does not articulate a fallacy; it is instead framed as a memetic tool to reduce the incidence of inappropriate, hyperbolic comparisons. "Although deliberately framed as if it were a law of nature or of mathematics," Godwin wrote, "its purpose has always been rhetorical and pedagogical: I wanted folks who glibly compared someone else to Hitler to think a bit harder about the Holocaust."[12]

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        nasch (profile), 25 Nov 2019 @ 7:38pm

        Re: Re:

        The law states that when this occurs, the forum thread has become too long, the moderators are obligated to close down the thread, and the first person to mention Nazis/Hitler is declared the forum thread loser.

        No, this is what the law states, according to its author: "I developed Godwin's Law of Nazi Analogies: As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one."

        That's it. Nothing about shutting the thread down, or anyone "losing".

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Personanongrata, 25 Nov 2019 @ 12:37pm

    Trolling for Dollars - Starring Sheila Gun Reid and Ezra Levant

    "It's about the specific deterrent. I don't think Dave Barrett is going to take a run at Sheila any time soon. And it's about the general deterrent. And what I mean by that is I hope other people see that and say "oh, okay, um, maybe I won't call Sheila a Nazi, maybe I won't call anyone at Rebel a Nazi.... Maybe I won't call any conservative a Nazi."

    Sheila Gun Reid and Ezra Levant may not be neo-nazi's but they sure are censorial trolls.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 25 Nov 2019 @ 3:15pm

    Its free speech when we call you an invading horde of unwashed terrorists... but if you call us an unkind word, that is the sin.

    I am saddened that a court awarded her a single thing, submitting her own tweets about what free speech really means should of destroyed her case.

    But then DoubleThink is a thing, holding 2 completely opposite views as truth.
    See also: Republicans calling out the mean things said about them & Trump vs. Their silence about calling the last POTUS a kenyan terrorist or saying it wasn't 'that bad'.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Samuel Abram (profile), 25 Nov 2019 @ 3:49pm

      Re: your error

      I am saddened that a court awarded her a single thing, submitting her own tweets about what free speech really means should of destroyed her case.

      A court did no such thing; they settled. Your point still stands, because the defendant is still punished for his speech, but it was through a settlement rather than a judicial verdict.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 25 Nov 2019 @ 4:59pm

    Probably not something to be bragging about...

    Gotta love the self-delusion wherein they are proudly showing off their gross hypocrisy in shutting someone up and using the legal system to cow someone who said mean things about them.

    'I am a raging hypocrite and only support speech I agree with' is usually not something to be boasting about and making visible for all to see.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Nov 2019 @ 11:41pm

    “You might not be Nazis...”

    But actually, you really are just Nazis.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Nov 2019 @ 12:42am

    ButButBut....

    "But free speech only applies to MEEEEEE!!!! When it's used by the international Jewish Media Cabal ruled by George Soros to spread Cultural Marxist propaganda about me being some kind of "Nazi" in order to further the sinister Zionist Agenda to turn white men into Soy Boy Cucks, that's LIBEL!"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Tanner Andrews (profile), 26 Nov 2019 @ 6:36pm

    in Florida, Sheila Gunn Reid is a Nazi

    Okay. We won't call you a Nazi, Ezra.

    Well, then, I will.

    A right-winger who seeks to use the power of the state to suppress speech certainly seems like a Nazi, at least as commonly understood here in Florida. So, Sheila, take it from a speaker whose office is right downtown in the City:

    You're a Nazi.

    If you find this objectionable, you are in luck. There is a lot of sand in Florida.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Justin, 3 Dec 2019 @ 9:08am

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    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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